The Mumbler Family Guide to October Half-Term

It doesn’t seem five minutes since the schools went back, but already we’re fast approaching the first half-term break of the school year. I have a 6 and 3 year old who are very much looking forward to a week off school and pre-school (they break up on Friday 27 October) and as always there is a fabulous line-up of family-friendly activities coming up in the Hull 2017 programme, plus loads of other stuff going on in the area.

The first thing that caught my eye was the Family Takeover Weekend (28 – 30 Oct) at Humber Street Gallery. We’ve visited this fabulous child-friendly gallery a lot over the summer and I always like to check out their special events. This weekend has a variety of free family workshops, including a photography session where you can leave with your very own printed masterpiece.

The main event this half term is definitely Back To Ours (31 Oct – 5 Nov). This festival in local community venues has been a rip-roaring success this year, and the latest edition is sure to be a hit. Some shows have sold out already but there are plenty of tickets left if you want to discover something new in your local venue.

Skin at Back To Ours festival (31 Oct – 1 Nov) is a hip-hop theatre show for older children at Winifred Holtby Academy, telling the story of a boy’s journey of gender transition. There are special Back To Ours Picture House film screenings too, followed by character balls or parties that are great for kids of all ages. This half-term they’re screening Monsters Inc. (followed by the Monsters Ball) and the latest Beauty and the Beast (followed by its own Beasts Ball too). For the grown-ups, there’s a 15+ screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show too. All films are being screened at The Freedom Centre, Winifred Holtby Academy and Sirius Academy West – tickets are just £2.50 each.

Re-Made in Hull (28 Oct – 4 Nov) returns this half-term, and I’d absolutely recommend it. These family craft workshops at Scrapstore in Hull focus on recycling – there’s no need to book, just turn up. It’s also a great opportunity to look around the treasure trove of craft materials that is Scrapstore…

Do you remember the bricks that children under 5 in Hull made over the summer? Well, now the thousands of bricks have been turned into a piece of art, The Sixteen Thousand (2 Oct – 5 Nov). Take a look around the installation and join in with the free Creative Clay Workshops for children. It’s in Block C at C4DI, just near Stage@theDock.

When I’m there, I’ll combine it with a visit to The Deep too. Newly-opened for half-term is Digi:Sea (21 Oct – 9 Apr 2018) their brand new interactive ocean wall where children can design their own sea creatures to appear in the wall. They also have Fish and Olive (1 Nov – 31 Jan 2018) a new artwork with a marine theme up in their 3rd floor gallery.

Also at The Deep is Frogman (1 Nov – 11 Nov). Suitable for older children (strictly 12+) this is a ground-breaking piece of theatre told through live acting and Virtual Reality. Booking is essential.

2097: We Made Ourselves Over will come to the city centre this weekend. The latest in this series of free, pop-up screenings heads to in King Edward Square for a sci-fi film showing a glimpse into the future of our city in 80 years’ time. It’s been put together by interactive artists Blast Theory, who have been exploring what the future holds both in Hull and in Aarhus, Denmark, the European Capital of Culture 2017.

As always, there are lots of activities running at the Hull Museums during the half term. All of the Museum activities are free, no need to book, just drop in. Some highlights include:

Hull History Centre (30 Oct) have their Big Doodle, a fun day of drawing. They also have their History Makers session on Doodles and Drawings (4 Nov) where children can draw a masterpiece and turn it into a LEGO work of art.

Hull Maritime Museum have their Big Draw Does Turner & The Whale session (31 October). Explore Hull Maritime Museum’s whaling, scrimshaw and art collections before creating your own Turner & The Whale inspired drawings.

Hull & East Riding Museum have Please Touch: Romans (31 October). Join their curators in the Roman Gallery, where they’ll be talking about Roman culture and giving you the opportunity to handle some objects.

Popping into Ferens Art Gallery is also a must do for us this half term. My kids love stopping off for a play in their children’s gallery when we’re in the city centre (first room on the right when you enter) and I want to go and see the Turner Prize 2017 this half term. The Turner Prize is one of the world’s most renowned art prizes, awarded by Tate to an artist who has exhibited outstanding work in the previous year; the four shortlisted artists for 2017 are exhibiting their work at Ferens until 7 Jan.

Also at Ferens this half term is Mini Masterpieces (31 October). These creative sessions for under 5s are usually payable but are free this month as part of the Turner Prize programme. They also have The Big Draw (4 Nov) where you can meet a range of artists and help create the biggest drawing Hull has ever seen. Both activities are free – no need to book, just drop-in.

Over at Hull University is The Dyslexia Portrait (2 Oct – 11 Nov) by Hull Photographic Artist Miranda Harr, a photographic project which explores and challenges our ideas about how people with dyslexia see the world. Open daily at the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull, free and suitable for all ages.

Our local theatres have plenty of family shows running this half term too:

The Gruffalo’s Child (1 – 4 Nov) comes to Hull Truck Theatre. This is one of my favourite Julia Donaldson books and my children loved the Gruffalo when it came to Hull previously, so we will definitely be going to this.

Junction Theatre in Goole presents Hansel & Gretel (28 Oct), a family tale suitable for ages 5 and above. I really like this theatre – it’s around 30 minutes’ drive from Hull, is very small and intimate and has a lovely café. My youngest can be a bit scared of some shows (and anything loud!) but has always enjoyed a trip to this theatre. Tickets are a bargain at £6.50 per adult, £5 per child.

Hull New Theatre and Opera North present L’Enfant Et Les Sortileges (28 Oct), Ravel’s magical childhood fantasy in this family show. Also at Hull New Theatre is Joseph (31 Oct – 4 Nov), starring X-Factor winner Joe McElderry. With afternoon and evening performances it’s suitable for all the family. This is one of my favourite musicals, I actually went to see it at Hull New Theatre 10 years ago!

For even more half term kids’ entertainment, there are plenty of Halloween specific events going on in the surrounding areas too. Burton Agnes near Driffield have their annual Spooky Woodland Trail (28 Oct – 5 Nov). To kick off half term they also have their Michaelmas Fair (28 – 29 Oct), a bustling street fair, intriguing stalls and traditional street performances.

Burnby Hall in Pocklington have their Pumpkin Festival (30 Oct – 5 Nov). They also have a Halloween-themed event day (31 October) with crafts and a spooky trail.

Burton Constable near Skirlaugh have their Spooky Bat and Pumpkin Trails (28 Oct – 3 Nov). Mid-week they also have Creepy Crafts, Freak Face Painting, Angnus Spellious, The Hag of Holderness, Spooky Story Telling and Children’s Halloween Fancy Dress.

Sewerby Hall near Bridlington have their Halloween Trail (21 – 29 Oct) the week before our half term. They then have a Guy Fawkes Trail (30 Oct – 5 Nov), plus lots of daily themed activities.

There is a half term Halloween Treasure Hunt around Anlaby (28 Oct – 3 Nov). Collect your map from Gabrielle’s Pottery Painting Studio and Tea Room in Anlaby, and see what you can find! You can also hear a Halloween story and paint a character from it in Paint Me A Story.

Flemingate shopping centre in Beverley have a Pumpkin Spooktacular (28 Oct). There will be pumpkin carving demonstrations, a pumpkin carve-off and a Trick Or Treat Beverley Rocks competition.

Heading across the bridge to the south bank is Pink Pig Farm – meet the animals and join in their Pumpkin Festival (21 – 30 Oct). And if you fancy going out into the fields to pick your own pumpkin, we like a trip to The Fruit Yard near Shiptonthorpe.

In addition to the highlights above there are lots of other events and activities running during the school holiday across our region. Take a look at Hull & East Riding Mumbler for more fun family-friendly ideas. Have a great half term!